Apr 15, 2007

Good news about our Vietnamese priests

Today's L.A. Times reports (click on this post's title) that 25 of the 94 students at what is left of St. John's Seminary in Camarillo are Vietnamese; that "almost 28%" of 181 diocesan priests in the Diocese of Orange are Asian, most of them Vietnamese; and that in the USA overall, 12% of Catholic seminary students are Asian.

The reporters largely attribute these vocations to families' belief that the priesthood is a prestigious profession. The reporters do not seem to really understand that the priesthood is a calling, and the role that grace, faith and prayer play in young Catholics' response to the call.

But anyway, let us pray for our Vietnamese priests and seminarians, and let us thank God for them.

Most of these priests and seminarians probably are anti-Communist, thanks to their own or their family's experience with persecution of the Faith by the Vietnamese Communists. So let us pray that they will always remind their flocks to pray for our fellow Catholics around the world who endure persecution for Jesus' sake.

Let us also pray that they will be spared the belief among some in our U.S. Church that homosexuality -- inclination to sodomy -- is "giftedness."

Let us also pray they will see the immense need for them to be actively pro-life, to do their utmost to stop abortions in their parishes and to save babies and help their moms.

And let us pray that our Vietnamese priests and seminarians will have a spirit of ready obedience should Pope Benedict open up the Tridentine Mass for wide use.


Blogger The Bedards said...

Supreme Court OKs Abortion Procedure Ban

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Apr 18, 3:48 PM (ET)


(AP) Anti abortion demonstrator Joshua Alcorn stands outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday,...
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's conservative majority handed anti-abortion forces a major victory Wednesday in a decision that bans a controversial abortion procedure and set the stage for further restrictions.

For the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, the justices upheld a nationwide ban on a specific abortion method, labeled partial-birth abortion by its opponents.

The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

The law is constitutional despite not containing an exception that would allow the procedure if needed to preserve a woman's health, Kennedy said. "The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice," he wrote in the majority opinion.

(AP) National Clergy Council President Rev. Rob Schenck holds a copy of the Supreme Court's decision on...
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Doctors who violate the law face up to two years in federal prison.

Kennedy's opinion, joined by Bush's two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, was a long-awaited resounding win that abortion opponents expected from the more conservative bench.

The administration defended the law as drawing a bright line between abortion and infanticide.

Reacting to the ruling, Bush said that it affirms the progress his administration has made to defend the "sanctity of life."

"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld a law that prohibits the abhorrent procedure of partial birth abortion," he said. "Today's decision affirms that the Constitution does not stand in the way of the people's representatives enacting laws reflecting the compassion and humanity of America."

(AP) Republican Presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, carrying his BlackBerry unit, walks...
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Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also were in the majority.

It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how - not whether - to perform an abortion.

Abortion rights groups as well as the leading association of obstetricians and gynecologists have said the procedure sometimes is the safest for a woman. They also said that such a ruling could threaten most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, although Kennedy said alternate, more widely used procedures remain legal.

The outcome is likely to spur efforts at the state level to place more restrictions on abortions.

"I applaud the Court for its ruling today, and my hope is that it sets the stage for further progress in the fight to ensure our nation's laws respect the sanctity of unborn human life," said Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, Republican leader in the House of Representatives.

Said Eve Gartner of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: "This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women's health and safety. ... This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them." She had argued that point before the justices.

More than 1 million abortions are performed in the United States each year, according to recent statistics. Nearly 90 percent of those occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and are not affected by Wednesday's ruling. The Guttmacher Institute says 2,200 dilation and extraction procedures - the medical term most often used by doctors - were performed in 2000, the latest figures available.

Six federal courts have said the law that was in focus Wednesday is an impermissible restriction on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

The law bans a method of ending a pregnancy, rather than limiting when an abortion can be performed.

"Today's decision is alarming," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent. She said the ruling "refuses to take ... seriously" previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.

Ginsburg said the latest decision "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."

Ginsburg said that for the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, "the court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health."

She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.

The procedure at issue involves partially removing the fetus intact from a woman's uterus, then crushing or cutting its skull to complete the abortion.

Abortion opponents say the law will not reduce the number of abortions performed because an alternate method - dismembering the fetus in the uterus - is available and, indeed, much more common.

In 2000, the court with key differences in its membership struck down a state ban on partial-birth abortions. Writing for a 5-4 majority at that time, Justice Breyer said the law imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to make an abortion decision in part because it lacked a health exception.

The Republican-controlled Congress responded in 2003 by passing a federal law that asserted the procedure is gruesome, inhumane and never medically necessary to preserve a woman's health. That statement was designed to overcome the health exception to restrictions that the court has demanded in abortion cases.

But federal judges in California, Nebraska and New York said the law was unconstitutional, and three appellate courts agreed. The Supreme Court accepted appeals from California and Nebraska, setting up Wednesday's ruling.

Kennedy's dissent in 2000 was so strong that few court watchers expected him to take a different view of the current case.

Kennedy acknowledged continuing disagreement about the procedure within the medical community. In the past, courts have cited that uncertainty as a reason to allow the disputed procedure.

"The medical uncertainty over whether the Act's prohibition creates significant health risks provides a sufficient basis to conclude ... that the Act does not impose an undue burden," Kennedy said Wednesday.

While the court upheld the law against a broad attack on its constitutionality, Kennedy said the court could entertain a challenge in which a doctor found it necessary to perform the banned procedure on a patient suffering certain medical complications.

The law allows the procedure to be performed when a woman's life is in jeopardy.

The cases are Gonzales v. Carhart, 05-380, and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, 05-1382.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Bedards,

Thank you for posting this story. Sorry I'm a little late in getting back to you.

The "Carhart" of this case is the same abortionist LeRoy Carhart whose abortion chamber a Nebraska jury two weeks ago acquitted Father Norman Weslin of blocking.

8:52 PM  

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